Message Service (SMS)
Short message service (SMS) is a globally accepted
wireless service that enables the transmission of alphanumeric messages between
mobile subscribers and external systems such as electronic mail, paging, and voice
mail systems. The benefits of SMS to subscribers center around convenience, flexibility,
and seamless integration of messaging services and data access. From this perspective,
the benefit is to be able to use the handset as an extension of the computer.
SMS also eliminates the need for separate devices for messaging, as services can
be integrated into a single wireless device-the mobile terminal. SMS provides
a time stamp reporting the time of submission of the message and an indication
to the handset of whether there are more messages to send (GSM) or the number
of additional messages to send.
SMS appeared on the wireless scene in 1991
in Europe. The European standard for digital wireless, now known as the Global
System for Mobile Communications (GSM), included short messaging services from
In North America, SMS was made available initially on digital wireless
networks built by early pioneers such as BellSouth Mobility, PrimeCo, and Nextel,
among others. These digital wireless networks are based on GSM, code division
multiple access (CDMA), and time division multiple access (TDMA) standards. Network
consolidation from mergers and acquisitions has resulted in large wireless networks
having nationwide or international coverage and sometimes supporting more than
one wireless technology. This new class of service providers demands network-grade
products that can easily provide a uniform solution, enable ease of operation
and administration, and accommodate existing subscriber capacity, message throughput,
future growth, and services reliably.
messaging service center (SMSC) solutions based on an intelligent network (IN)
approach are well suited to satisfy these requirements, while adding all the benefits
of IN implementations handling multiple input sources, including a voice-mail
system (VMS), Web-based messaging, e-mail integration, and other external short
message entities (ESMEs).Communication with the wireless network elements such
as the home location register (HLR) and mobile switching center (MSC) is achieved
through the signal transfer point (STP). SMS provides a mechanism for transmitting
short messages to and from wireless devices. The service makes use of an SMSC,
which acts as a store-and-forward system for short messages.
The wireless network provides the mechanisms required to find the destination
station(s) and transports short messages between the SMSCs and wireless stations.
In contrast to other existing text-message transmission services such as alphanumeric
paging, the service elements are designed to provide guaranteed delivery of text
messages to the destination. Additionally, SMS supports several input mechanisms
that allow interconnection with different message sources and destinations. A
distinguishing characteristic of the service is that an active mobile handset
is able to receive or submit a short message at any time, independent of whether
a voice or data call is in progress (in some implementations, this may depend
on the MSC or SMSC capabilities). SMS also guarantees delivery of the short message
by the network. Temporary failures due to unavailable receiving stations are identified,
and the short message is stored in the SMSC until the destination device becomes
SMS is characterized
by out-of-band packet delivery and low-bandwidth message transfer, which results
in a highly efficient means for transmitting short bursts of data. Initial applications
of SMS focused on eliminating alphanumeric pagers by permitting two-way general-purpose
messaging and notification services, primarily for voice mail. As technology and
networks evolved, a variety of services have been introduced, including e-mail,
fax, and paging integration, interactive banking, information services such as
stock quotes, and integration with Internet-based applications.
applications include downloading of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards for
activation, debit, profile-editing purposes, wireless points of sale (POSs), and
other field-service applications such as automatic meter reading, remote sensing,
and location-based services. Additionally, integration with the Internet spurred
the development of Web-based messaging and other interactive applications such
as instant messaging, gaming, and chatting.
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